Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
Head of a UNHCR Sub-Office (HoSO) is a senior managerial position within a given country operation. The incumbent carries the full delegated authority of the UNHCR Representative (or the country Manager) of the country, who will exercise entire supervisory managerial responsibility over the position. The position, on the other hand, provides all information on developments in relation to the protection (legal protection issues relating to the persons of concern to UNHCR), security (Physical security in relation to the UNCR staff and the persons of concern to UNHCR) and operational matters (programme and office management / administration) within the domain of its geographical area of responsibility to the UNHCR Representative (or the country manager) on a regular and timely manner.
Subject to the specific legal or socio economic or security developments in the Area of Responsibility (AOR), Representative will direct and guide the Head of the Sub-Office to take the most appropriate course of action. Concerning overall physical security concerns, HoSO will liaise directly with the competent UN security coordinator while keeping the UNHCR Representative fully informed. While the functional responsibility of a Head of a Sub-Office will always remain the same despite its grade level, the other parameters (therefore the depth and breadth of the competencies) such as the size of the population of concern to UNHCR, their specific legal/security concerns, volume of assistance, Number of operational / Implementing partners and the size of the Office (i.e. number of UNHCR staff and their grade levels) will determine the appropriate grade level.
The operational autonomy also depends upon the same parameters/competencies. As the most senior UNHCR staff member within the given geographical area, he/she is required to liaise with all the relevant senior government officials, security organs in the area, the Head of various Non-Governmental Organisations (both national and internationals based in the area), Civilian/tribal leaders/elders, local opinion makers and the local media net-work to ensure his/her assigned responsibilities are effectively and efficiently discharged.
As the extended field representative of UNHCR at the front line of High Commissioner¿s operations, he/she remain as the effective advocate and assistant to the local authorities to ensure that the respective government authorities in the area implement their conventional responsibilities in favour of refugees and others of concern to UNHCR.
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